November unveiled a captivating chapter in our travel diaries, rich with global and local exploits. From representing Ecuador at WTM London to celebrating our recognition as Ecuador’s Leading Tour Operator at the World Travel Awards, these team events forged connections and marked triumphs. The ANVR Conference in Asturias, Spain, provided a platform for meaningful discussions on sustainability, adding depth to our narrative.
Meanwhile, immersing ourselves in the Amazon fostered connections with local communities. Later, welcoming Sonia and Rashell to our team added new dimensions to our aspirations. Traversing Ecuador, from Guayaquil Port to the Galapagos Legend Cruise Legend, enriched our understanding of the destinations we offer. The political transition in Ecuador, with new president Daniel Noboa and Minister of Tourism Niels Olsen’s continuity, painted a vivid picture of our dynamic travel experiences in this month of exploration and discovery.
As a boutique B2B DMC, our team actively participates in global travel events to cultivate connections and attract diverse buyers—travel agents, tour operators, and industry professionals. These events serve as vital platforms for exploring business opportunities and negotiating deals, fostering collaborative ventures that enhance our services. Moreover, they play a pivotal role in discovering emerging destinations and innovative travel styles. The insights gained are instrumental in our mission to craft bespoke tours that continually elevate travel experiences for our discerning clientele.
London holds a special place as one of my favorite travel destinations. The magnificent architecture, rich history, and delightful humor of the English people never fail to bring a smile to my face. Despite the English Ministry of Tourism’s inability to arrange a stand at this year’s World Travel Market, our luck turned when Quito Turismo stepped in.
Alongside seven other local companies, we proudly represented Ecuador. The UK has consistently been a significant market, aligning seamlessly with our target clientele. This fortunate opportunity allowed us to strengthen our presence and connections, reinforcing the harmony between the charm of Ecuador and the preferences of the British public.
World Travel Awards Promo
The World Travel Awards constitute the highest level of industry excellence and highlight recipients selected from the regional tier. Nominees have a demonstrated track record of being recognized as the best globally. This year we were so lucky to win in the Leading Tour Operator category. In the following video, you can see a short recap of the event and the highlights of the awards gala. This recognition means so much to me and our team and I would love to thank all of the voters and travelers for last year’s events!
ANVR Conference in Asturias, Spain
The Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators ANVR is committed to ensuring every traveler enjoys hassle-free trips with fair conditions and suitable guarantees. As active members, we promote responsible travel practices. They invited me to join their annual conference in Asturias, Spain, to talk about future sustainability plans, responsible travel, and regenerative travel.
This event provided a valuable networking opportunity, allowing me to expand my professional connections in the Netherlands. Being part of the ANVR also means our trips are always fully insured in case there is an emergency like a volcano eruption, earthquake, or any other natural disaster.
Visiting the Amazon
In November, my wonderful team organized a fantastic group trip to the enchanting Cuyabeno Amazon rainforest. Commencing at the Arajuno River, a healthy snack fueled them for water-based activities, featuring kayaks and paddleboards, guided by insightful briefings. A scenic two-hour paddle led them to the Kichwa community, where a local lunch unfolded with insights into daily life on the river banks and intricate handicraft work.
Continuing with their paddle, an hour-long journey down the river brought the team to Itamandi Lodge, where a warm welcome awaited, complete with a briefing on lodge amenities and activities. The evening brought a captivating night walk through the lodge’s terrain, revealing a myriad of nocturnal insects.
The following day commenced with an early morning canoe ride upstream, navigating to the parrot clay licks. Here, my team marveled at parrots and parakeets gathering minerals to aid digestion, creating a unique spectacle. After returning to the lodge for breakfast, a brief period of relaxation ensued before packing for the journey back. Two additional events awaited the team, involving visits to other lodges for an introduction to their offerings, enhancing their knowledge to tailor experiences better for our travelers.
New Team Members
As the year progressed, demand for unique travel experiences grew. To meet this, we welcomed Sonia and Rashell to our team. Sonia, with destination management experience, joined the sales team, bringing a keen eye for detail. Rashell, rooted in sustainable tourism, contributes to the administrative and finance team. Together, they enhance our capacity to exceed traveler expectations, marking a significant stride in our mission.
Travel Across Ecuador
In Ecuador, our destination experts actively explore new locations, activities, and accommodations. Firstly, Robert witnessed the advanced construction of a new Galapagos cruise at Guayaquil Port. Then, the team visited Casa Agave, unraveling the agave plant’s story and diverse products.
Additionally, two team members, Maggie and Gaby, navigated the Galapagos’ northern islands during a four-day trip aboard the Galapagos Legend Cruise. They dove into activities across Bartolomé, North Seymour, and San Cristóbal. These experiences equip our team with in-depth knowledge, ensuring accurate information for crafting dream trips.
Daniel Noboa assumed the presidency of Ecuador for an 18-month term, succeeding Guillermo Lasso amid record violence and significant economic challenges. In his inaugural speech, Noboa acknowledged the tough task ahead, emphasizing the need for bold action to reduce violence and make progress a norm. He proposed addressing criminal violence by tackling unemployment through urgent reforms.
Noboa, a 35-year-old leader, pledged to break the cycle of political vendettas, highlighting his openness to diverse perspectives by forming a cabinet with significant participation of women and youth. Colombian President Gustavo Petro and other international guests attended the ceremony. Also, Verónica Abad started as the vice president. Noboa, who won the presidency in October, aims to restore security and create jobs in Ecuador, grappling with economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting significant migration.
Minister for Tourism To Continue in Post
Niels Olsen’s continued role received official confirmation from President-elect Daniel Noboa’s new government, announced on the night of November 14, 2023. A 35-year-old professional, Olsen holds degrees in Business Administration and Marketing from Louisiana State University, USA, as well as a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Tourism from Monash University, Australia.
Commencing his career as a minister in Lasso’s government, Olsen stands as one of the few positions retained until the conclusion of the president’s term. Notable contributions include implementing the Nomad Visa, allowing remote workers to reside in Ecuador for up to two years, and introducing a new Country Brand. With this decision, Daniel Noboa’s appointed ministers and state secretaries now total eleven.
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